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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Two Helpful Father’s Day Questions

God’s communicative ability far exceeds ours! Some of us could write 22 pages on a particular subject and say little. Whereas God at times takes 22 words on the same subject and says everything.

Many fathers on Father’s Day resolve in a fresh way how they might be the best father they have ever been. Knowing the answer to that helps you steer your children on the right course, make any necessary course corrections, and have them reflect upon you as, “the best dad ever”.

With a mere use of 22 words, God tells fathers in Ephesians 6:4,

”And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.“ (NKJV)

It is rather interesting that when it comes to raising our children, God does not start with the mother, but with the father.

Training refers to just that – training them properly. Admonition refers to correcting or disciplining them properly. Understanding this, here are two helpful Father’s Day questions.

Am I training my children correctly?

Socrates used to wonder how men who were so careful in the training of a colt could be so indifferent to the training of their own children. What a young person one time said of his father should in similar words be echoed by every man’s child, “The most interesting man I ever met was my own father. He was my father, my storyteller, my universal encyclopedia of knowledge, and my greatest playmate. I learned my lessons at my father’s knees.”

There are two things of paramount importance in a father’s training of his children.

How to enter the Christian life

The greatest truth in which a father could train his child, starting the day his mind begins to comprehend truth, is the simple plan of salvation. We come to God as a sinner, recognize that Jesus Christ as God’s Son died in our place on a cross, taking the punishment we deserved, and rose again the third day. The price for our sin having been paid, God can now extend eternal life as a free gift to all who trust His Son to save them. That way he can hopefully lead his child to Christ at an early age.

How to live the Christian life

That means a father needs to teach his child how to be a student of the Scriptures so that he knows how to put into his life what should be there and take out what should not be there. As he trains him in God’s directive, he should encourage his children each step of the way and share from his own experience. That way the child will know how to cope with anything that comes into his life whether it be a pandemic, social distress, financial struggles, or health issues.

Am I admonishing my children correctly?

It has been said that it is easier to mold clay than chisel stone. Part of that molding involves admonishment and discipline. That process needs to start in the highchair while the child is, in essence, clay in the father’s hands.

God, in loving kindness toward us, lays out the path we ought to walk, informing us of the rewards for obedience, but also the dangers of disobedience.  When discipline is necessary, His goal is always to make us better and more like Christ, not to make us bitter. Fathers must seek to be the same with their children. Look back at that verse in Ephesians. It reads, “do not provoke your children to wrath.” Discipline is a father’s way of saying, “I love you” while also saying “I love you too much to allow you to continue down this wrong path.” The goal is always to turn the heart toward our Heavenly Father and never to embitter our children by disciplining children out of anger or pride.

The discipline a parent gives often varies; a father and mother must agree together in prayer and in accordance with God’s Word on what is appropriate.

Conclusion

If you have had such a dad as has been described above, what better day is there than Father’s Day to say, “Thank you Dad. I have never appreciated you more than I do now.” If you are a dad, what better is there than Father’s Day to ask two questions encouraged through the clear and simple words of Ephesians 6:4? (1) Am I training my children correctly? (2) Am I admonishing my children correctly? Asking and responding to these two questions properly will help us avoid having a generation, “who did not know the Lord” (Judges 2:10).

As you do so, bear in mind that it is never where we are at as fathers, but the direction in which we are headed. A Father’s Day prayer to a God of grace and enablement ought to be, “God help me be a father who is heading in the right direction.”

Copyright © 2020 R. Larry Moyer, used with permission.

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